As part of Moscow’s “Svetlanov Universe” Festival, conductor Robert Trevino leads the Alexander Yurlov Russian State Capella and the “Evgeny Svetlanov” State National Symphonic Orchestra in works by Svetlanov, Prokofiev, and Rachmaninov. They are joined by Russian violin virtuoso Vadim Repin, soprano Ekaterina Morozova, tenor Bogdan Volkov, and bass Piotr Migunov.
The orchestra under Trevino’s baton open the program with Evgeny Svetlanov’s own symphonic tableau Daybreak in the Fields before Vadim Repin takes the stage for Prokofiev’s singingly virtuosic Second Violin Concerto, a work commissioned by a a group of French musicians for their friend Robert Soetens just before the composer moved back to Russia after 15 years in the West. They close with Rachmaninov’s choral symphony The Bells, which draws its text from a Russian translation of Edgar Allan Poe’s haunting poem of the same name.
In his last concert on Earth, he [Evgeny Svetlanov] conducted The Bells, a pure, sincere, and human work. Maestro particularly loved this work and left the concert feeling purified, serene, and at peace. He said to me, “Look how everything is simple and harmonious. Only three soloists but the text and music of each solo charts life’s stages. The tenor marks the beginning with joy, youth, and aspiration for happiness: hope for a marvelous future. With the soprano comes a formidable maturity, love, an ecstasy for a life that seems infinite. Then the baritone summarizes everything that came before. He announces the tragic eternal peace that each person who has come into the world earns.” When Svetlanov conducted Les Cloches, the work moved the soul deeply, and it is the soul that leads the listener to ecstasy. – Nina Nikolaeva-Svetlanova, on her husband Evgeny Svetlanov.
Photo: Robert Trevino © Musacchio & Ianniello